Incentive - January 2008 - (Page 22)

CASE STUDY Personal Delivery DHL creates a culture of individual empowerment through individualized online and spot rewards BY ALEX PALMER DHL’s packing and shipping departments sort through a huge amount of packages daily, so keeping them engaged in their work is crucial for the company G iving employees a degree of freedom in how they do their job, and the power to take action even when their supervisor is not there to give the okay, has been shown in numerous academic and industry studies to keep workers more engaged in their work, more productive, and happier. This benefits both employer and employee, improving retention and creating an energetic workplace where personal responsibility, rather than unquestioning compliance, becomes the rule. Shipping company DHL Express sums up this attitude of individual responsibility as, “I’m On It,” which the firm calls its employee recognition program started more than two years ago. This campaign has sought to motivate the company’s workforce into becoming self-directed individuals, reinfocing the personal initiative message at meetings and training, and by publicly rewarding models of personal initiative. “We continually find ways to identify and to recognize individuals that demonstrate their commitment not just to bringing customer service back into shipping, but the behavioral element that demonstrates ‘I’m On It,’ ” says Tom Snowberger, Incentive vice president of human resources for DHL Express USA, based in Plantation, Fla. “Through that motto and that philosophy, we can elevate the stories of individuals that went above and beyond to help support that brand promise.” In 2005, DHL began to rebrand itself as a more customer-focused shipping company, and employees from the top leaders on down had to ask themselves what they were doing to make the experiences of their customers as enjoyable as possible, in order to differentiate the company in a highly competitive market. Particularly in the pickup and delivery functions, the employees would have to be motivated to take a proactive approach to meeting and exceeding customer needs. So DHL, working with incentive house O.C. Tanner, developed “I’m On It,” which spotlights the mutual benefits that eagerness and resourcefulness offers both employers and employees. “We embed recognition into a lot of our internal communication tools as well as all of our town halls,” says Tony Treglia, vice president of talent management. “We want recognition to be seen as part of everyday life.” This message is supported by examples of employees in action. DHL recently published the story of employee Jesse Frank, who expedited a shipment of gift cards for Cold Stone Creamery. Learning that the shipment was particularly important and in need of immediate clearance, Jesse made a number of fast phone calls to the import agent and the client in order to fill in missing information, then pushed the shipment through customs. A more dramatic example is the story of Operations Agent Sarah Tunison, who, while routinely inspecting a shipment going to Canada, discovered over $9,000 in hundred dollar bills hidden between the pages of a magazine. After she notified her superiors of the questionable shipment, the company brought in the Michigan State Police to investigate. Profile: DHL Industry: Shipping Objective: To increase employee initiative; to create a company-wide “recognition culture” that motivates employees and managers to award others who go beyond expectations in performing their jobs. Results: A combination of training, rewards and conscious tracking of employee recognition have contributed to an over 200-percent increase in recognition incidents at DHL from 2006 to 2007. Reinforcement of the “I’m On It” attitude has increased employee initiative at the company and the frequency that this initiative is recognized. 22 | | January 2008 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - January 2008

Incentive - January 2008
Editor’s Note: Out of SITE
In The News
Cover Story: Include a Meeting, Improve Morale
Case Study: DHL Delivers Recognition
Incentive Primer: How To Use Promo Products
How Bob Nardelli Rallied Chrysler’s Dealers
Incentive Interview: Ken Blanchard Says Be Nice
TV’s Extreme Makeover Motivates Giving
Pre-Employment Motivation
The Daycare Dilemma
Happy Employees Shouldn’t Mix with Sick Employees
Incentive Research: Consumer Promotions Report
In Her Shoes: Winning Approval Of Flextime
Travel News
Field Report: Barcelona
Field Report: Bermuda
Golf: Follow The Pros
potentials Here and Now
Watches As Jewelry
Awards: Online Gift Cards
Tech Gadgets for 2008
Last Word: Stanley Bing Bashes Bully Bosses

Incentive - January 2008